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IU Public Policy Institute set to launch state bicentennial legacy project on thriving communities


INDIANAPOLIS — An Indiana University Public Policy Institute proposal to examine innovative strategies that lead to thriving communities has been endorsed by the Indiana Bicentennial Commission, which is planning Indiana’s observance of its 200th birthday.

With the commission’s endorsement, the “Policy Choices for Indiana’s Future: Thriving Communities, Thriving State” proposal becomes a Bicentennial Legacy Project.  

Two co-chairs, former Indiana Supreme Court Justice Randall T. Shepard and former Indiana Lt. Gov. Kathy Davis will lead the project. The IU Public Policy Institute is a multidisciplinary nonpartisan policy research entity within the IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.

Three place-based commissions will be formed to evaluate issues affecting Indiana’s urban communities, suburban and medium-sized communities and rural communities. As the commissions gather information, the institute will engage communities through ongoing public forums and conclude these discussions with a gubernatorial forum in August 2016.

Discussion and recommendations will be framed around issues such as workforce development and education; sustainability and the environment; infrastructure; health, arts, amenities and recreation; and local government finance.

Assisted by the institute, the three commissions will make recommendations to state and local policy leaders about which current policies help or hinder communities, where policy gaps exists and what policy changes are needed to support communities.

Legacy project proposals are required to meet one of four criteria: culturally inclusive; creating a legacy for the future; celebratory; and engaging and inspiring to youth and young adults.

“Through this project, we are giving residents, community leaders and elected officials an inside perspective of what’s going on and what options exist to enhance our current direction,” said Mark Lawrance, director of the IU Public Policy Institute. “We hope our research helps inform community discussions about Indiana’s future that will take place during 2016 and beyond.”

About the IU Public Policy Institute
The IU Public Policy Institute delivers unbiased research and data-driven, objective, expert analysis to help public, private and nonprofit sectors make important decisions that directly impact quality of life in Indiana and throughout the nation. Using the knowledge and expertise of staff and faculty, the institute provides data and analysis that addresses a wide range of issues. It helps leaders, citizens, businesses and organizations solve problems, seize opportunities and create positive change. The institute also supports the Indiana Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations. The institute is in Indianapolis and was established in 1993 within the School of Public and Environmental Affairs.